California Overcame 1/100 Odds to Beat Its Epic Drought | WIRED


Never tell California the odds. Not only has the state recovered from its record-breaking drought, it did so in record time. According to a new NOAA study looking at 445 years of climate data, California had a 1 percent chance of breaking the drought in just two years.

You remember the drought, right? Between 2012 to 2015, California’s epic dry spell—its worst in recorded history—depleted reservoirs, melted mountain snow, and forced farmers and cities to recklessly suck up groundwater reserves. Things got so dire that, in 2014, governor Jerry Brown signed a state of emergency curtailing water use for cities and official business. Then came 2016’s El Niño, then 2017’s commute-clogging, weekend-ruining, and infrastructure-crippling onslaught of storms. These two years of successive soaking prompted Brown, barely a week ago, to announce that the state’s drought emergency had ended.

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